HBO's latest trailer for their upcoming show The Leftovers has narrowed its focus down to the general backbone of the show. The premise revolves around a police chief named Kevin Garvey who attempts to maintain calm in his suburban community following a global Rapture that caused two percent of the world's population to suddenly disappear. While previous extended looks at The Leftovers made it look like The Walking Dead with more religious undertones, HBO's season one trailer for The Leftovers concentrates on what makes the show uniquely its own story.
The trailer is aptly titled "Five Stages Tease" and it flashes through the Kübler-Ross model of the stages of grief that human beings experience when faced with death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Intercut with scenes from season one of the show, the teaser flashes the five stages again and again before breaking down on the word ANGER — the stage the suburban community appears to be stuck on during the events of the show.
While it's a given that any post-apocalyptic show focus on the way society and humanity breakdown in the wake of a disaster, becoming more of a danger to one another than the cataclysmic event ever was, The Leftovers has painted itself as a show more rawly human than any other. It takes a fantastic event like the Rapture and filters it through a relatable psychological model, a lens through which the audience can filter the actions of all of the characters so that we can understand them even when they are acting in dangerous, murderous, or self-destructive ways.
The last two trailers focused perhaps too much on the fantastic elements of the premise, the disappearances and the resulting cults, but in thirty-six seconds HBO has managed to promise a compelling human story in the series to come. And if The Leftovers manages to help any viewer deal with their own real life grief, then it almost feels like that would be the real point of the show.
Watch the trailer below.